WM school board appoints new Primary Dean of Students

Katie Thompson

By Christopher Officer

What started off as 26 viable candidates soon dwindled down to one as the Watertown-Mayer School Board appointed Katie Thompson as the new Primary School Dean of Students during its meeting on Monday, March 17.
Thompson, who was one of eight internal employees interviewed, was the language arts teacher for Watertown Middle School before being named Dean of Students. Thompson expressed enthusiasm about her new promotion, but admitted she will miss the position she is leaving behind.
“I am excited to make the move,” Thompson said. “Although I will really miss the staff and students in the middle school, I am looking forward to joining such a positive learning environment.”
After completing both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Bethel University in St. Paul, Thompson obtained her Principal License from Hamline University in St. Paul and has been teaching for the past 10 years — an occupation Thompson doesn’t plan on relinquishing anytime soon.
“I have always loved teaching, it is my passion,” Thompson said. “I have so much fun working with students and staff. I’m excited about being a part of these kids’ very first school experience — making them as positive and meaningful as possible.”
In other matters, price changes regarding school athletics are subject to change in the near future — but it is still unclear where the changes will occur.
It has been suggested from members of the board that admission prices to Watertown-Mayer school athletic events be lowered. The board had agreed to raise the price of passes back in 2009-10 in order to increase revenue at the gate. The current issue is if prices were to decrease at the gate, how would the lost revenue be made up.
This paradox has spawned other ideas to reduce pricing in areas aside from the admissions gate. Activities Director Mary Haugen suggested that the students most popular opinion (when asked how to help the school athletic program) was to lower the participation fee that is associated with playing organized school sports. No concrete decision has been made and further discussion on the matter will continue.
Spring may be around the corner, but our record-setting winter still is hindering high school seniors. Three full days this school year have been canceled due to inclement weather, leaving seniors short of the mandatory amount of hours needed to graduate.
To rectify the situation, the board will eliminate two upcoming, previously determined “short days.” Instead of being released at 1 p.m., seniors will forfeit the shortened days of April 17 and May 9 and will carry on their regularly scheduled school hours. The expulsion of the shortened days will still leave seniors behind the required hours to graduate.
Starting an adequate amount of school days 15 minutes early was also an option to be explored. The board will continue discussing solutions on a later date.
The next Watertown-Mayer School Board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 28 at Watertown City Hall.